Obituary for Gertrude "Trudy" Carlson (Goggins)
Gertrude (Trudy) A. Carlson, 94, longtime resident of West Haven, Orange, and Milford, CT, passed away on November 21, 2017. Gertrude was the widow of her beloved husband Harold (Whitey/Hal) W. Carlson (deceased 11/11/1989). They were married for 40 years.
Mrs. Carlson was born in New Haven, CT, the daughter of (the late) Michael F. and Gertrude B. Goggins. She and her husband Harold resided in West Haven for 20 years and later in Orange for 20 years.
Gertrude grew up in the Westville section of New Haven, attended Sheridan Jr. High School, and graduated from Hillhouse High, Class of 1942 (she chaired their reunions off and on for 35 years, up to and including their 60th Reunion!). With her brother Jackie’s encouragement and support, Gertrude then entered The Hospital of St. Raphael’s Nursing School, from which she graduated in 1945—the proudest day of her life. She served in the U.S. Army as a Cadet Nurse for six months during her last year of training. She was stationed first at Fort Devens, MA, and then at Camp Edwards. After the War, Gertrude was hired as a Staff Nurse at St. Raphael’s, eventually working her way up to Head Nurse and finally to Supervisor of St. Raphael’s “Old 3rd Main Floor.”
In the early 1950’s, Gertrude left nursing in order to stay home and raise her three children; however, after ten years as a full-time mom, she returned to private duty nursing at St. Rae’s. In 1970, Gertrude accepted a position as an Occupational Health Nurse and Counselor with The Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET—eventually AT&T), where she and her good friend Helen Maiorano were instrumental in starting SNET’s highly regarded Counselling Program for Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
Throughout her life, Gertrude was a member of many professional, civic, and religious organizations, including St. Raphael’s Alumni Association, the CT Occupational Health Nurses Association (COHNA), The American Association of Industrial Nurses (AAIN), The Holy Infant’s Women’s Guild of Orange, Our Lady of Victory Church of West Haven, the New Haven Council of Catholic Women, and the West Haven Jr. Women’s Club. After retiring from SNET, Gertrude volunteered as a nurse for the High Plains Senior Center in Orange and also for the Milford Elderly Services of the Ahren’s Program. Before and during their retirement years, Gertrude and her husband Harold enjoyed many trips and memorable cruises to exotic places. They also bought a condo down in Pompano, FL, which they enjoyed for at least six months of each year, until Harold’s untimely death from lung cancer in 1989.
Mrs. Carlson is survived by her two sons, Professor Gary Carlson of West Haven, Brad Carlson of New Haven, and her daughter Lori Carlson, also of West Haven. She is survived by six grandsons (Steven, Matthew, and Christopher Irving, and Eric, Tyler, and Spencer Carlson), as well as her beloved granddaughter, Sheila Carlson. She was also blessed with six great-grandchildren (Daria and Maylanni Carlson, Tori and Cayden Carlson, as well as Robert and Maeby Irving. Finally, there are her two devoted nephews, Craig and Eddie Dolinsky, as well as nephews James and David Goggins, and the many loving, supportive friends (most of them fellow nurses) who throughout her life were like a second family to Gertrude (especially Millie Barone).
In addition to her husband Harold and her parents, Gertrude was predeceased by her two brothers John (Jackie) J. Goggins of Florida and James E. Goggins of Ansonia, her mentor and “second mother” “Aunt Jule” Brophy-Twohill, her beloved cousin Bette Flynn- Dolinsky of Florida, and longtime friend and co-worker Helen Maiorano of Orange, CT.
A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Holy Infant Church, Orange SATURDAY DECEMBER 9 at 10 o’clock. Burial will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery, West Haven. In lieu of flowers, Gertrude’s wish was that memorial contributions in her name be sent to either St. Jude Children’s Research (Memorial and Honor Gifts), P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 (www.stjude.org) or Smilow Center for Cancer Care, PO Box 1849, New Haven, CT. 06508.